Road Traffic Act 1968

Investigation and inquiry by person authorised by Minister into accident involving vehicle.

66

66. (1) Whenever a vehicle has been involved in an accident in a public place, an authorised person may—

( a) investigate the circumstances in which the accident occurred,

( b) enter (on production of his authority if so demanded by the owner or person in charge of the premises hereinafter mentioned) at any reasonable time any premises where there is a vehicle which was involved in the accident,

( c) carry out such inspection and examination (including a test) as appear to him to be reasonably necessary for the purposes of the investigation,

( d) do such things and make such requirements as appear to him to be reasonably necessary for the purposes of the investigation and, in particular,

(i) require, by summons, the attendance of all such persons as he thinks fit to call before him and examine for the purposes of his report and require answers or returns to any inquiries which he thinks fit to make,

(ii) require any person to produce such books, papers, other documents and any articles (being in that person's custody or under his control) which he may consider relevant and retain such books, papers, documents and articles for such time as he may reasonably require them, and

( e) report to the Minister concerning the causes of, and all the circumstances surrounding, the accident and make recommendations in connection therewith.

(2) Whenever the Minister considers it necessary, he may direct that a public inquiry be held into the cause of an accident in which a vehicle was involved.

(3) For the purposes of holding an inquiry under this section, the Minister or the person authorised by him to hold the inquiry may—

( a) require any person to attend as a witness to give evidence or to produce any documents relating to the subject matter of the inquiry;

( b) administer or cause to be administered an oath and take evidence under oath.

(4) ( a) The Minister may by order make provision for—

(i) the payment by the Minister of the expenses reasonably incurred by a person giving evidence or producing documents at an inquiry under this section,

(ii) the payment by the Minister of costs reasonably incurred by a person in connection with an inquiry under this section,

(iii) the recovery from any person of costs incurred by the Minister in connection with an inquiry under this section.

( b) The Minister may by order amend or revoke an order under this section.

(5) Any person who contravenes a requirement made by an authorised person under subsection (1) of this section or who obstructs an authorised person in the performance of his duties under this section shall be guilty of an offence.

(6) If any person (hereinafter referred to as the witness)—

( a) on being duly summoned as a witness before an inquiry under this section makes default in attending, or

( b) being in attendance as a witness refuses to take an oath legally required to be taken by the person holding an inquiry under this section or to produce any document in his power or control legally required by the person holding an inquiry under this section to be produced by him, or to answer any question to which the person holding an inquiry under this section may legally require an answer, or

( c) does any other thing which would, if the person holding an inquiry under this section were a court of law having power to commit for contempt of court, be contempt of such court,

the person holding an inquiry under this section may certify the offence of the witness to the High Court and the High Court may, after such inquiry as it thinks proper to make, punish or take steps for the punishment of the witness in like manner as if he had been guilty of contempt of the High Court.

(7) A report made under this section shall not be used as evidence in any legal proceedings arising out of the accident in question.

(8) The Minister may make regulations for giving effect to this section.

(9) In this section “ authorised person” means a person duly authorised in writing by the Minister for the purposes of this section.